Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

Get access Subject: Asian Studies
Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese

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Brill’s Encyclopedia of China Online is based on the originally a thousand-page reference work on China with a clear focus on the modern period from the mid-nineteenth century to the 21st century. Written by the world’s top scholars, Brill’s Encyclopedia of China is the first place to look for reliable information on the history, geography, society, economy, politics, science, and culture of China.

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(1,580 words)

Author(s): Bergère, Marie-Claire
Despite the early development of trade (domestic trade), of a financial system, and of handicrafts, as well as the simultaneous revival of the merchants' guilds, Chinese cities did not emerge as the cradle of an entrepreneurial bourgeoisie. The tight control which the bureaucracy exerted over society can be attributed to the state monopoly on the bestowment of the official titles which determined the hierarchy of social groups. Owing to their low status, merchants attempted, if possible, to have…

Boxer Uprising

(1,481 words)

Author(s): Bastid-Bruguière, Marianne
This grassroots movement for self-defense was created in rural Shandong between the spring of 1898 and that of 1899. It united followers of a martial arts form imbued with religious and magical ideas who were faithful to the Qing dynasty and devoted to the goal of "destroying the foreigners". Individual groups, each practicing their own form of Chinese boxing ( quan), had at first fought against bandits and then started to use organized force against Christian communities, many of which offered fringe groups protection if in exchange they converted to Ch…


(991 words)

Author(s): Klaschka, Siegfried
China's first radio station went on air in Shanghai for a short time in 1922. From the following year, radio stations with regular programs were established. They were under foreign control and aired programs in foreign languages, especially in English. In 1926 Radio Harbin was the first Chinese-operated, Chinese-language station that began broadcasting. In 1928 the Guomindang (GMD) established the Central Broadcasting Agency (Z hongyang guangbo diantai) in Nanjing, which aired news and propaganda in the larger cities of China. In the following years, the GMD …


(4,242 words)

Author(s): Zürcher, Erik
Buddhism first reached China in the first century, after having spread through the oasis kingdoms along the transcontinental "Silk Road". It was the beginning of gradual absorption of the foreign creed from many different centers representing various types of Buddhism. As a result, the Chinese were confronted with Buddhism not as one consistent religious system but as a bewildering mass of diverse teachings, traditions, rituals, and institutions. This ever-growing diversity has stimulated Chines…

Business Ethics

(1,396 words)

Author(s): Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten
In the description of ethical ideas in business, there is often only insufficient differentiation between the classical political religion of China, i.e. Confucianism, on the one hand, and popular religion as a source of ethical ideals on the other hand. But beyond that, it is necessary to distinguish between business ethics in the realm of social order and the pragmatic attitudes towards economic activity, for example within enterprises. These conceptual differentiations are indispensable for r…